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Sunday, July 17, 2011

KNEE JERK REACTION: "The Songs of Now Sound a Lot Like Then"

In his article in the Sunday NY Times (, music critic Simon Reynolds makes the point that recent pop music has been stealing sounds from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Reynolds gives the examples of Cee-Lo Green, who's Forget You is reminiscent of Motown, and the Black Eyed Peas, who's recent album reminds him of crappy 90s music. It is surprising to see a music critic treat this trend as a new phenomenon. The tradition of pop stealing from the music of the past out-dates today's shitty business theory that a particular song can be owned as intellectual property.* Pop music has never been an amazing source for original music. Elvis made smash its out of Little Richard originals, the early Beatles were a re-vamped version of 50s rock n roll, the Rolling Stones purposely absorbed black American music and created some of the greatest songs ever. I just don't seem to understand what's novel about musicians being influenced by the past. That's what making music is all about; exploring the past and then providing your own interpretation.

*That's not to say that musician's don't have a right to profit off of their recordings, they do, but fuck the record industry clowns. Share some music with your friends. Fuck Metallica.

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